Fans turn on West Brom after cup shock at Reading

Date published: Saturday 20th February 2016 4:59 - Ian Watson

Reading reached the FA Cup quarter-finals for just the fifth time in their history as they stunned West Brom 3-1 to leave Albion fans turning on their team.

The Royals came from behind to win 3-1 against a poor Albion side who deserved to go out but there were worrying scenes at the final whistle when Chris Brunt appeared to be hit by something thrown from the visiting fans as he went to applaud them.

Albion fans were angry after defeat and Brunt had to be led away by Darren Fletcher as he was seen remonstrating with a group of supporters.

Former Albion defender Paul McShane cancelled out Fletcher’s second-half opener before Chelsea loanee Michael Hector netted his first goal of the season. Lucas Piazon finished the game in stoppage time as the visitors pushed for a leveller.

West Brom boss Tony Pulis had insisted his side would take the Cup seriously but the head coach was let down by the quality of his side, who have won just twice in their last 11 games.

Pulis had also agreed with talk of scrapping FA Cup replays but would have gladly taken one as Saido Berahino and Fletcher missed late chances.

Reading, mid-table in the Sky Bet Championship, deserved their victory for taking what few chances they had and showing more endeavour.

A gritty start gave way to a scrappy game in which the Championship hosts easily contained their Barclays Premier League visitors.

McShane drilled wide from the edge of the box but it was a token gesture in a turgid match.

The hosts were the better side and while their goalkeeper watched on untroubled, his opposite number Ben Foster turned over Hal Robson-Kanu’s header seven minutes before the break.

It was the only serious action of a first half devoid of excitement or quality and the second began in similar style with James McClean ballooning over.

But the Baggies broke the monotony with a rare moment of quality nine minutes after the break.

Rondon was allowed too much time inside the box to tee up Fletcher and the former Manchester United man advanced to drill a low angled drive past Ali Al Habsi from 15 yards.

Five minutes later Reading were level when McShane powered a six-yard header from Oliver Norwood’s free kick after Jordan Obita had been fouled on the left.

The goalrush was out of keeping with the game which quickly slipped back into a wretched affair with the sides cancelling each other out.


Michael Hector Reading v West Brom

But with 18 minutes left Hector, who joined Chelsea last summer before being loaned back, completed Reading’s turnaround. It was another sloppy goal to concede from West Brom as they allowed the midfielder to ghost in at the far post to head in Norwood’s free kick.

Berahino and then Fletcher miscued in front of goal with six minutes left and Reading added gloss to the scoreline in stoppage time when, with Albion left open, substitute Piazon drilled in.

After the final whistle Brunt went to the away support to applaud them and throw his shirt into the crowd but went down clutching his face after being hit by something which appeared to come from the visiting fans’ section.

The Albion man eventually handed his shirt over but not before a heated exchange.

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